ISLAMABAD-Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan on Friday said financially self-reliant women could positively contribute towards national economy besides proving themselves a stable support for their families.

Addressing at a ceremony to distribute sewing machines among women suffering from thalassaemia, the Turkish first lady said the disease had a negative impact on entire families who needed continuous moral support.

Emine said the friendly relationship between Pakistan and Turkey would further strengthen for the benefit of their people.

She expressed concern that number of thalassaemia patients in Pakistan was increasing day-by-day and said Turkey would provide assistance to Pakistan in domain of social welfare.

She stressed importance of medical tests of thalassaemia before marriage to reduce chances of fatal disease. Emine said gift of sewing machines for thalassaemia-hit women would make them financially self-reliant.

First Lady of Pakistan Samina Arif Alvi said the government was determined to make women the useful segment of society as without their participation, the concept of national development was irrelevant.

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She mentioned that Pakistan Bait ul Mal was taking steps for emancipation of women in line with the vision of President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. She said protection of women’s rights was top priority of the government. She expressed gratitude to Turkish first lady for giving away sewing machines to the women suffering from thalassaemia.

Later, Samina presented a traditional shawl to Emine. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Welfare Dr Sania Nishtar, Chairman Pakistan Bait ul Mal Aun Abbas Bappi and senior officials were present on the occassion.